MEMORY VERSE: "And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life." (Matthew 25:46)
I. QUESTION: WHAT IS THE FUTURE WORLD?
ANSWER: There are two choices for the future: eternal punishment or eternal life. Every person will spend forever in one of two places: hell or heaven. (Matthew 25:46)
II. QUESTION: IS DEATH THE END?
ANSWER: No, death is merely the crossing over "qua doi" into the next life. In that life, one will face either eternal life or eternal punishment. We see both of these in the story that Jesus told of the rich man and Lazarus, in which one man went to paradise and the other to torment. (Note: While Jesus did tell some fictitious stories to make a point, he never used names in them. In this story, he actually uses a name, which means that it's probably a true story. This is true, real-life anguish that a real person actually went through.) The Bible says that after man dies once, the judgment comes. (Matthew 25:46; Luke 16:19-31; Hebrews 9:27)
III. QUESTION: WHEN IS DEATH A BLESSING?
ANSWER: It is a blessing when someone dies in the Lord, that is when someone who is a true believe dies. It is a blessing because the weariness of this life is gone forever. They have opportunity to rest from the hard labor and pain of this life. (Revelation 14:13) Paul said that for the Christian to live is Christ, that is suffering and sacrificing self for the sake of others. But he said to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
IV. QUESTION: WHAT IS THE BLESSING OF DEATH IN CHRIST?
1. Eternal life without condemnation or the wrath of God. (John 3:36; Romans 8:1)
2. Living in heaven with Jesus forever. (John 14:2-3; Luke 23:42-43)
3. New immortal, incorruptible bodies. (Philippians 3:21; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10)
V. QUESTION: HOW DOES THE BIBLE DESCRIBE THE BLESSINGS OF HEAVEN?
ANSWER: According to the Bible, heaven has the following blessings:
1. Rest from the toils and trials of this life. (Revelation 14:13)
2. There will be no more death, sorrow, crying, or pain. (Revelation 21:4)
3. There will be no evil, instead the full Glory of the Lord will fill heaven. (Revelation 21:22-26)
VI. QUESTION: WHAT HAPPENS TO THE PERSON WHO DIES OUTSIDE OF CHRIST?
ANSWER: They will be punished with everlasting destruction, forever separated from the Lord. They are judged, and if there names are not found in the Lamb's Book of Life, they are thrown into the Lake of Fire, the Second Death. (2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 20:12-15)
VII. QUESTION: HOW DOES THE BIBLE DESCRIBE SUFFERING IN RELATION TO HELL?
ANSWER: The man who went to hell described himself as being in "anguish in these flames." It was so bad that he begged for Lazarus to just be able to dip the tip of his finger in water to cool the man's tongue. He described it as a place of torment. And there is a great uncrossable chasm separating hell from everything else, so there is no escape. (Luke 16:19,23-21) It is a place of darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, a place of eternal punishment. (Matthew 8:12; 25:46) It is everlasting punishment, separated from God and his glorious power. (2 Thessalonians 1:9) It is a Lake of Fire--the Second Death. (Revelation 20:14,15) Interestingly, to understand the suffering, consider that burning to death is the most painful way to die. Drowing is the scariest way to die. On this earth, there is no combination of the two, but the Lake of Fire will be a combination of the most painful and scariest way to die--and it is eternal punishment.
VIII. QUESTION: HOW DOES GOD JUDGE?
1. Each of us has to give a personal account of our actions to God. (Romans 14:12)
2. God judges according to our words, our secret thoughts, and our deeds. (Matthew 12:36; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Revelation 20:13)
3. God judges justly. He does not show favoritism. (Romans 2:11; 1 Peter 1:7)